Voters will decide the fate of the ESPLOST in Tuesday’s election, a one-cent sales tax through which school officials plan to pay for facility improvements across all county school systems.
June 9 is election day, and the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be on the ballot. Revenues collected from the tax are divided between Carroll County Schools and Carrollton City Schools and a small percentage is also given to Bremen City Schools.
There has been an ESPLOST in Carroll County since the first became effective Jan. 1, 1998. The current iteration was approved by voters in 2018 and is set to expire Dec. 31, 2022.
The referendum on the June 9 ballot would be the sixth iteration of the ESPLOST.
The ESPLOST will cover a maximum of five years. The revenue from the ESPLOST will be capped at $143 million and will be divided among the three districts.
Carroll County School District will receive 71.77% or a maximum of $102,631,100. Carrollton City School District will receive 26.23% or a maximum of $37,508,900. Bremen School District will receive 2.00% or a maximum of $2,860,000.
Previous ESPLOST revenue has been able to fund projects such as the Carroll County Performing Arts Center and the North College and Career Academy in Carroll County Schools. The ESPLOST can only be used for facility projects and cannot be used for things such as teacher’s salaries.
The Pope-McGinnis Student Activity Center was funded through a combination of ESPLOST set aside for an auxiliary gym and private donations.
If the referendum passes, the school systems have outlined projects that would be funded with the revenue.
Carrollton City Schools would use the funds largely to pay off bonds that were used to fund the system’s new high school.
Carroll County Schools has divided its planned projects between its five clusters, as well as system-wide projects. Each cluster will have facility and athletic additions, improvements, renovations, and modifications; technology, safety, band, fine arts, and other equipment or upgrades.
At the Bowdon Cluster, the plans at Bowdon High School are a new front hallway, drive and entrance, a band room addition, and facility renovations, modifications, and improvements.
At the Central Cluster, the plans at Central High School are gym and dining room additions, renovations and modifications, media center renovations and modifications, and facility improvements.
At the Mount Zion Cluster, the plans at Mount Zion Middle School are new gym and band room addition; parking lot and drive improvements as well as facility renovations, modifications, and improvements.
At the Temple Cluster, the plans for the schools are new track, field and concession stands as well as facility additions, renovations, modifications, and improvements.
At the Villa Rica Cluster, the plans for Villa Rica High School are to rebuild the stadium, field and track with additional parking as well as facility renovations, modifications, and improvements.
The plans at Sand Hill Elementary School are a dining room addition, classroom replacement and connector halls, and facility renovations, modifications, and improvements. At Villa Rica Elementary School the plans are new classroom addition and connector hall as well as facility renovations, modifications, and improvements.